双语小说连载:纯真年代 The Age of Innocence(8)

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2011-08-05  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  
These things passed through Newland Archer's mind a week later as he watched the Countess Olenska enter the van der Luyden drawing-room on the evening of the momentous dinner. The occasion was a solemn one, and he wondered a little nervously how she would carry it off. She came rather late, one hand still ungloved, and fastening a bracelet about her wrist; yet she entered without any appearance of haste or embarrassment the drawing-room in which New York's most chosen company was somewhat awfully assembled.

In the middle of the room she paused, looking about her with a grave mouth and smiling eyes; and in that instant Newland Archer rejected the general verdict on her looks. It was true that her early radiance was gone. The red cheeks had paled; she was thin, worn, a little older-looking than her age, which must have been nearly thirty. But there was about her the mysterious authority of beauty, a sureness in the carriage of the head, the movement of the eyes, which, without being in the least theatrical, struck his as highly trained and full of a conscious power. At the same time she was simpler in manner than most of the ladies present, and many people (as he heard afterward from Janey) were disappointed that her appearance was not more "stylish" --for stylishness was what New York most valued. It was, perhaps, Archer reflected, because her early vivacity had disappeared; because she was so quiet--quiet in her movements, her voice, and the tones of her low- pitched voice. New York had expected something a good deal more reasonant in a young woman with such a history.
她在客厅中间停住脚步,抿着嘴,两眼含笑地打量着四周。就在这一瞬间,纽兰·阿切尔否定了有关她的容貌的普遍看法。不错,她早年的那种光彩的确已经不见了,那红扑扑的面颊已变成苍白色。她瘦削、憔。淬,看上去比她的年龄稍显老相——她一定快30岁了。然而她身上却散发着一种美的神秘力量,在她毫无做作的举目顾盼之间有一种自信,他觉得那是经过高度训练养成的,并且充满一种自觉的力量。同时,她的举止比在场的大多数夫人小姐都纯朴,许多人(他事后听詹尼说)对她打扮得不够“时新”感到失望——因为 “时新”是纽约人最看重的东西。阿切尔沉思,也许是因为她早年的活力已经消失了,她才这样异常地沉静——她的动作、声音、低声细气的语调都异常沉静。纽约人本指望有着这样一段历史的年轻女子声音会是十分洪亮的。

The dinner was a somewhat formidable business. Dining with the van der Luydens was at best no light matter, and dining there with a Duke who was their cousin was almost a religious solemnity. It pleased Archer to think that only an old New Yorker could perceive the shade of difference (to New York) between being merely a Duke and being the van der Luydens' Duke. New York took stray noblemen calmly, and even (except in the Struthers set) with a certain distrustful hauteur; but when they presented such credentials as these they were received with an old-fashioned cordiality that they would have been greatly mistaken in ascribing solely to their standing in Debrett. It was for just such distinctions that the young man cherished his old New York even while he smiled at it.

The van der Luydens had done their best to emphasise the importance of the occasion. The du Lac Sevres and the Trevenna George II plate were out; so was the van der Luyden "Lowestoft" (East India Company) and the Dagonet Crown Derby. Mrs. van der Luyden looked more than ever like a Cabanel, and Mrs. Archer, in her grandmother's seed-pearls and emeralds, reminded her son of an Isabey miniature. All the ladies had on their handsomest jewels, but it was characteristic of the house and the occasion that these were mostly in rather heavy old-fashioned settings; and old Miss Lanning, who had been persuaded to come, actually wore her mother's cameos and a Spanish blonde shawl.

The Countess Olenska was the only young woman at the dinner; yet, as Archer scanned the smooth plump elderly faces between their diamond necklaces and towering ostrich feathers, they struck him as curiously immature compared with hers. It frightened him to think what must have gone to the making of her eyes.

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